Jul. 23rd, 2010

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I am an observant person. Not about people, because people are complicated and weird, but I notice things about my surroundings. A lot. Here are my incredibly astute observations from my two months in Central America. (More touristy notes about what I did and where I went are alongside the jillion photos I took.)

Nicaragua has full sheet newspapers. El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala have half-sheet tabloid sized newspapers. I don't have a theory about what this means, but I did notice it.

There are significantly fewer mototaxis in Guatemala than other countries. There are fewer mototaxis in bigger, modern-er cities than there are on the countryside. Nicaragua has the most horses. Also cows. Nicaragua was also the only place we saw horse drawn carriages. Apparently, they are taxis, that normal non-tourist people take, but with a horse, instead of a motor. Also: pedi-cabs are all over the place in Nicaragua, but non-existant in Honduras or Guatemala.

Guatemala is the coolest, temperature-wise, but Honduras seems much steeper.

Guatemala has held onto their traje tipica, while both Honduras and Nicaragua have embraced the shorts-and-t-shirt look.

Nicaraguans are crazy about baseball. Even during the World Cup.

Food is pretty uniformly lousy. There are a lot of beans, and rice, and they are usually over-cooked and greasy. (Sometimes they are also cold, which just makes the trifecta of lame.) The food is also unspiced. Oh and the cheese- super salty fresh cheese, that I learned to loathe.
Restaurants catering to tourist tastes often overcompensate. I failed to eat an overspiced Thai curry- it was too hot for even my New Mexico trained tongue to handle. Another memorable meal tried to incorporate tarragon and nutmeg into a marenade. For the record: no.
On the other hand, they do have all those fabulous tropical fruits that I desperately miss when I can't have them. Pitaya, maricuya/calala, gineps/caneps/meloton, mangos of twelve different varieties, tiny finger bananas, ripe papaya.

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